Emily Teterud – Marketing Coordinator
It’s that time of year again—the time when some of us set goals for the new year and just hope we can keep one of them. Are you already groaning just thinking about your attempts at your goals? I mean, it’s been like a full week of the new year, so I hope you’re still on track! I remember in years’ past I would try to just focus on one thing and keep my goal super realistic. Nothing too crazy! I didn’t want to get discouraged by a goal too audacious and stop early (hm. Ironic…that’s still a yearly occurrence for me). So this year, I had a different approach.
Instead of lowering my standards, I raised them! What? Where’s the logic there? I know I know, but hear me out and see what you think. Coming into this year, I was trying to hone in on one goal to accomplish. As I thought about what I should focus on—Health? Reading my Bible more? Praying more consistently? Developing my career and leadership better? Getting more on track with my finances and budgeting? The answer was…yes! Yes to all of the above. And I wasn’t really willing to give any of them up. They were all important to me, and I felt like I wanted to look back after a year and see each of those areas improve. Well hmm. That was a dilemma. I have to have one New Year’s resolution, right? I mean I don’t want to get ahead of myself and then fail miserably. But as I thought on it more, I realized it was worth it to set goals in each of these areas.
That’s why I have begun to think of my goals as holistically as possible! I think sometimes we limit ourselves by compartmentalizing certain things. I am going to focus on _____, fill in the blank, and then everything else just kind of gets forgotten? Really, God want us to be growing and developing in all areas of our lives.
I’m glad God doesn’t single out just one New Year’s resolution for me or only fix or work on one aspect of my life. No! I want Him to be continuously molding and shaping my life in all areas. So, if I believe He is going to be doing that, then I feel comfortable setting some high standards for myself this year. I also gain confidence knowing it’s Him actually providing the strength and the changes! When we have God working on our side for us, not against us, then we should feel capable of some pretty amazing life changes—not in a way that makes us prideful or start to think too highly of ourselves, but in a way that actually puts into practice how great we claim our God to be.
Now, I think this relates to something very specific as Christian leaders. I wonder to myself—who am I influencing? Who am I leading or mentoring? And how high or how low have I set the bar? Am I setting low expectations for myself, and therefore, for the people I influence? Remembering we serve a God who is the power behind actually doing the work in our hearts and lives, let’s go big! Let’s not shy away from goals that seem too lofty.
Pray about how God wants you to change this year, and don’t set the bar low. I don’t think God does. I think He sees the potential in our lives that we tend to limit. Let God set the standard of your life. Go big with your goals and, instead of focusing on the moment you might make one little mistake to blow it, focus on the holistic life change you see when you look back. I believe God is ready and waiting for you to let Him set your New Year’s resolution. Let’s see what He does.
I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12b-14